BATWG’s Position on MTC

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is a troubled organization. Dan Borenstein’s excellent column (Opinion, Nov. 1) exposed some of the issues, but there’s more:

As Borenstein indicated, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) carves out a piece of the assets that pass through its hands to fund its own extensive administrative operation. But how do 200 MTC staff members occupy their time? Certainly it’s not to plan regionally. If it were, the Bay Area wouldn’t have the unenviable distinction of being the third-most congested metropolitan area in the country. Nor would its per-capita public transit ridership be declining as its per-capita automotive travel rises.

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OAC Rides Heavily Subsidized by the Tax Payers

As BATWG has reported previously, in the Bay Region transportation projects often advance based strictly on politics. Totally absent from the mix are sound engineering and competent financial analysis. The Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) is a case in point. Here’s a preliminary report:

The capital cost of the OAC was $484 million. In order to provide a valid comparison between costs and revenues, we annualized the capitol cost of the project. Say you borrowed $484 million at 3.0% interest and were required to pay it back in 30 years. To do this you would need to send your lender a check for $24.7 million every year for 30 years. In other words a 30 year series of payments of $24.7 million a year is equivalent to an initial investment of $484 million at 3%.

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MTC Isn’t Giving Transportation Attention it Deserves

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is a troubled organization. Dan Borenstein’s excellent column (Opinion, Nov. 1) exposed some of the issues, but there’s more:

As Borenstein indicated, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) carves out a piece of the assets that pass through its hands to fund its own extensive administrative operation. But how do 200 MTC staff members occupy their time? Certainly it’s not to plan regionally. If it were, the Bay Area wouldn’t have the unenviable distinction of being the third-most congested metropolitan area in the country. Nor would its per-capita public transit ridership be declining as its per-capita automotive travel rises.
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San Francisco’s City Hall Impedes Caltrain Extension

Under the Lee Administration transportation in San Francisco is heading toward a cliff.

For starters City Hall is neglecting, if not actively undermining, the downtown extension of Caltrain (DTX), a project that would connect Caltrain to 6 Muni rail lines, 4 BART lines and over 40 bus lines at one spacious location in the middle of San Francisco’s 340,000 person employment center. Continue reading

MTC’s Hostile Takeover of ABAG – Update​

MTC, the Region’s transportation planning agency, is now well along in its campaign to take over ABAG, the Region’s land use planning agency. This, despite the fact that MTC has long failed to carry out its regional transportation planning responsibilities in an effective manner. For more information about MTC’s failures to take advantage of important improvement opportunities and its habit of wasting billions of dollars on over-priced, ill-conceived pet projects of little or no benefit to the Region, go to this report and scroll down to Page 6 “3. Legacy of Wasteful and Counter-Productive Projects”.
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Santa Clara Has a Long Way to Go

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA’s) 81 mile long, light rail system is widely regarded as the most ill-conceived in the entire country. According to the National Transit Database, in 2013 the VTA’s 56 light rail cars carried just slightly over 35,000 riders a day. The reasons for this exceptionally low ridership are not hard to find.

First, much of the area traversed is low-density sprawl, incapable of generating enough ridership to justify the high cost of passenger rail service. To the South the density ranges from low-density, single family to miles of empty land bereft of virtually any potential riders. To the north the rail system meanders its way through Silicon Valley, passing sprawled out hi-tech “campuses”, each surrounded by acres of beautifully-landscaped free parking.

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City Hall Undermines DTX, SF’s Most Significant Transportation Improvement In 50 Years

CityHallUnderminesDTXUnder the Lee Administration transportation in San Francisco is heading toward a cliff. For starters City Hall is neglecting, if not actively impeding, the downtown extension of Caltrain (DTX), a project that would connect Caltrain to 6 Muni rail lines, 4 BART lines and over 40 bus lines at one spacious location in the middle of San Francisco’s 340,000 person employment center.

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